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Beer Garden Grub Worth Toasting

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee
Women toasting at The Bavarian Bierhaus
 
The classic German tradition of the beer garden is back in a big way in Milwaukee’s local parks! These community gathering spaces aren’t just a great place to raise a glass – though you’re welcome to bring your own food, it’ll be hard to resist the Bavarian classics and picnic favorites served up alongside steins of beer. So come take a seat at a shared table and enjoy good beer, good friends and good food – prosit!
 
Milwaukee’s newest destination for a German good time is a brewery, beer hall and two beer gardens, all in one! Choose a spot on the full-service Beer Garden patio attached to the Beer Hall to enjoy the complete menu of Bavarian favorites from jaegerschnitzel to bienenstich.
 
Set on the banks of the Milwaukee River, this beer garden features beers imported from the Munich Hofbräuhaus. The daily menu includes brats, hot dogs and giant pretzels, but for a special treat, come for Friday Fish Fry or Saturday Schnitzel (both while supplies last).
 
Located in nearby Wauwatosa next to the TOSA Pool, The Landing serves a changing selection of craft and import beer. In addition to beer garden classics, The Landing also offers “Cranky’s Pizza” from locally beloved doughnut/pizza place, Cranky Al’s. Enjoy a few slices along with your brew!
 
Enjoy a rotating selection of craft beers and even handmade maple root beer on tap at this relaxed beer garden. It also has an impressively broad food menu, serving up small bites like beer cheese nachos, salads, sandwiches, pizza and ice cream alongside the expected wursts. Plus a pig roast every Saturday!
 
Click here for a map of Milwaukee beer gardens - most will stay open into October as weather allows, so come enjoy!
 

 

 
What your favorite Wisconsin State Fair food says about you

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Thursday, August 04, 2016

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee
Wisconsin State Fair
 
The animals, the bands, the rides – everyone has their own favorite part of the Wisconsin State Fair, but there’s one thing we can all agree on: the food! The fair is famous for over-the-top treats served at more than 200 concession locations. You’ll find classic fare and new (and ever wilder) delights served up at the various food vendors, but did you know that you can tell a lot about someone from their preferred State Fair food? It’s true! 
 
Family eating cream puff at Wisconsin State Fair
Cream Puff: You’re young at heart, but you also appreciate the classics. Tradition means a lot to you, and you know that waiting for something just makes it better.
 
Baked Potato: You are responsible. You plan ahead and know the importance of looking before you leap. 
 
Fried food at Wisconsin State Fair
A deep-fried, bacon-wrapped something on a stick: You are a thrill-seeker. A renegade. You don’t believe in doing anything halfway.
 
Cheese Curds: You’re dependable. You know what you like and you never compromise on it. Friends and family admire your strong sense of self.
 
Line at Milk House at Wisconsin State Fair
Flavored Milk: You’re laidback. Why rush when you could just soak in the atmosphere? You probably actually read the program.
 
Do you recognize yourself or someone you know in these descriptions? Make sure to share this post with them!
 
You can find a comprehensive list all the “Fair Fare” here
 
The Wisconsin State Fair runs August 4-14, 2016.
 

 

 
A Beginner’s Guide to Frozen Custard

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Tuesday, July 05, 2016

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee
Leon's frozen custard
 
Along with cheese curds, frozen custard is one of the foods that are classically Milwaukee. Milwaukee is home to the world’s largest concentration of frozen custard shops, earning us the title of “unofficial frozen custard capitol of the world!” You won’t want to miss out on this sweet treat on your next visit – use this handy guide to turn yourself into a frozen custard pro!
 
What’s the difference between ice cream and frozen custard?
Ice cream and frozen custard are both made with milk, cream and sugar, but custard is also made with egg yolks. This gives it its richer, creamier texture!
 
What flavors will I find?
At most frozen custard shops, you can expect to find chocolate, vanilla and a special flavor of the day. The Flavor of the Day might be a classic like strawberry, butter pecan or mint chip, or a creative treat like tiramisu, peach melba or “Sugar Plum Fairy”! Local favorite Kopp’s has so many devotees of their specialty flavors that you can sign up for “Flavor Alerts” to get a notification when your favorite flavor is coming up!
 
How should I order my frozen custard?
There’s no wrong way to order it, my friend! Enjoy it in a cone or a dish, as part of a sundae, in a float – anywhere you’d like your ice cream, try it with frozen custard instead!
 
Wait, I think I’ve heard of this…is this what they have at Culver’s?
That’s right! Though they now have locations in 24 states, Culver’s was founded right here in Wisconsin and is still a great spot to get fresh frozen custard, especially when you’re on the road.
 
Awesome – where should I go for frozen custard in Milwaukee?
The “Big 3” of frozen custard in Milwaukee are Kopp’s, Leon’s and Gilles. Each of these restaurants have been in business for decades (Gilles is the oldest, opened in 1938!) and have earned a place as landmarks in Milwaukee culinary history. Every local has an opinion about which is the best, so the only way to really know for sure is to try them all yourself! A relative newcomer to the frozen custard scene but with plenty of old-fashioned charm is Northpoint Custard. This classic custard stand is located right on Lake Michigan, just off of Bradford Beach, making it the perfect stop on a summer afternoon.
 

 

 
What To Do in Milwaukee On A Budget

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Friday, May 13, 2016

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee
Couple at Hubbard Park Beer Garden
 
The NY Times Frugal Traveler gave two thumbs up to Milwaukee, calling the city “vibrant and cheap,” which, hey – we’ll take it. There are certainly plenty of ways to enjoy the finer things in life in Milwaukee, but it’s also a city where great things come at a great price. These inexpensive or free things to do in Milwaukee are perfect if you’re looking for an easy weekend getaway on a budget or want to save up for a special night out while you're in town (James Beard nominated restaurants, anyone?).
 
Beer gardens
This German tradition is back in a big way in Milwaukee! Beer gardens are springing up at parks all around the city, and they’re the perfect place to hang out when you’re on a budget. Treat yourself to a stein, then take in the atmosphere, the good company and oftentimes live music! Many beer gardens allow visitors to bring their own picnics for extra savings, though there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to resist that giant pretzel once you see it. (Most beer gardens serving in traditional glass steins will charge a glassware deposit, but you’ll get it back before you go!)
 
Lakefront
No, not the brewery…the actual shoreline of Lake Michigan is a great spot to spend your time if you’re short on cash. The stunning views of the lake and the city’s architecture are all free. If you can time your visit right, watch the “wings” of the Milwaukee Art Museum open at 10 a.m., flap at noon or close at 5 p.m. (8 p.m. on Fridays). The trails along the lakefront are great for jogging, biking or just strolling, and if you have a little extra money to spend, you can rent paddleboats, bikes and more.
 
Brewery tours
The MillerCoors brewery tour takes you from the caves where Frederick Miller originally cooled his brews up to today’s high speed production lines and is FREE (that’s right, $0). But your dollar stretches far on any tour in town – $10 will get you a tour and plenty of delicious craft brews at Lakefront Brewery or Milwaukee Brewing Company, and for just $6 you can tour Sprecher Brewery and sample both beers and their popular gourmet sodas.
 
Summer concerts
This one is also totally free! Almost every night of the week, you’ll find free outdoor concerts in parks across the city. Local favorites include Chill on the Hill (Tuesday), River Rhythms (Wednesday) and Jazz in the Park (Thursday). These events vary on their carry-in policies, but enjoying nice weather and free music is always a good time!
 
Free events
From gallery nights and street festivals to museum free days and outdoor movies, there’s almost always something fun and free happening in Milwaukee. Check out the free section of Milwaukee365.com to see what’s on tap while you’re in town.  
 

 

 
Vegetarian and Vegan Dining in Milwaukee

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Monday, April 18, 2016

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee
Couple eating at Bel Air Cantina
 
You may think of cheese and bratwurst when you think of Milwaukee, but there’s no shortage of delicious vegetarian and vegan food being served up in our restaurants! Milwaukeeans love their local food, and you’ll find fresh farm-to-table favorites all across the city. Most restaurants offer vegan and vegetarian entrées, but the variety available at these local spots make them favorites for veggie lovers and omnivores alike!
  • Colour Palate – Enjoy specialty salads and wraps or build your own at this café conveniently located right downtown! All dressings are vegetarian, with several vegan options.
  • Bel Air Cantina – The city’s home for Mexican food with a twist offers several creative vegetarian and vegan tacos incorporating soy chorizo, grilled cauliflower and more.
  • Fuel Café – Fuel up in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood with vegetarian and vegan sandwiches, paninis, burritos and more, including their famous homemade vegan chili on the weekends.
  • Outpost Natural Foods Co-Op – Get your shopping done at this local co-op or just stop at one of their in-store cafes for delicious from-scratch, organic vegetarian and vegan meals.
  • Comet Café – This popular local diner focuses on from-scratch comfort food. There are lots of vegan and vegetarian entrees on the menu, and you can sub field roast in on any of their sandwiches for just $1.
  • Casablanca – In addition to vegetarian options on the regular menu, this Middle Eastern restaurant is a must-visit spot for their vegetarian lunch buffet, available Monday-Saturday.
  • Ian’s Pizza – There’s always a featured vegetarian slice on the menu at Ian’s, and many of their famous specialty pies (including the best-selling Mac n’ Cheese pizza) are vegetarian and can be made vegan.
  • Wolf Peach – Experience Milwaukee’s small plates scene through the vegetarian and vegan-friendly menu at this farm-to-table restaurant. In addition to an off-site farm, much of the produce and garnish is grown at their on-site garden.
Where do you go for the best vegetarian and vegan food in Milwaukee? Let us know!

 

 
Retro Dining & Drinking in Milwaukee

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Friday, April 01, 2016

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

Cocktail at Bryant's Cocktail Lounge

Milwaukee is a city that honors its history, so it should come as no surprise that classic favorites like diners, supper clubs and cocktail lounges are still thriving alongside the innovative restaurants that make up the city's new-school dining scene. If you're looking to party like it's 1938 or just want a killer #ThrowbackThursday post, don't miss these retro-fab dining and drinking establishments while you're in town.

Founded in 1942, Miss Katie’s Diner is a 1950s throwback serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner along with a full cocktail menu. Start off your flashback day with their famous corned beef hash for breakfast.

From the relish tray to frosty ice cream drinks, the supper club is a Wisconsin institution that locals have loved since the 1930s. Get a taste of the classic supper club experience at Five O’Clock Steakhouse, serving up supper club staples like the relish tray, fresh salads prepared tableside and, of course, premium steaks since 1946. Travel & Leisure described this steakhouse as a “classic supper club setting with a Mad Men vibe.” Or try Joey Gerard’s, a new restaurant with nostalgic feel. This Hollywood-style supper club brings traditional favorites to modern families, including an impressive menu of ice cream drinks.

If cocktails sound more tempting, don’t miss Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge, a local gem open since 1938. A semifinalist for the James Beard Awards’ “Best Bar Program” (2013), Bryant’s repertoire includes over 450 specialty and classic cocktails, but you won’t see any menus in this stylish, intimate lounge. Instead, let one of the knowledgeable bartenders on staff use your preferences and tastes to guide you to the perfect drink. Up on the East Side, drink in vintage style at Vitucci’s. This cocktail lounge has been family-owned for 80 years!

Want to throw it back even farther? Learn more about Milwaukee's old school bar scene - including the oldest tavern in the city (built in 1850!).

 

 
How to Travel Solo in Milwaukee

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee
 
No travel buddy? No problem! More and more travelers are discovering the fun and adventure of traveling solo. It can be intimidating to plan your first unaccompanied trip to a new city, but once you catch the bug it can be hard to find a travel experience that matches the freedom and adventure of going solo! Here are a few tips for what to do alone in Milwaukee.
 
Museums
Museums are the perfect spot to visit as a party of one. How many times have you been entranced by an exhibit or piece of artwork only to be dragged away by an impatient friend (or been the one trying to keep a pokey buddy on the move)? No thanks! When it’s just you, you can enjoy at your own pace. The Milwaukee Art Museum recently completed a full renovation of their galleries and nearly doubled the number of works on view (and added a coffee shop and wine bar – the perfect spot for a little solo chill time!). At the Milwaukee Public Museum, local favorite exhibit “The Streets of Old Milwaukee” is newly updated for a more immersive look into Milwaukee’s past; pop your headphones on and check out the Streets of Old Milwaukee app for ever-changing stories from turn-of-the-century Milwaukeeans.
 
Outdoors
Communing with nature is the perfect one-on-one activity: just you and the great outdoors. And Milwaukee’s urban outdoors are pretty darn great – with Lake Michigan, three rivers, more than 150 state and county parks and more than 130 miles of bike trails, there’s an option for everyone. Rent a kayak to explore Milwaukee’s waterways, hop on a bike (if you didn’t bring one, check out Bublr Bikes, the city’s bikeshare system) or just take a stroll. Designed by Frederick Law Olmstead (of Central Park fame), Lake Park is a local favorite spot for nature lovers and photographers thanks to waterfalls, stunning stone bridges and historic Northpoint Lighthouse. 
 
Dining
Eating out is often the most intimidating part of a solo trip, but it doesn’t have to be! If you’re shy about being alone at a sit-down restaurant, cafes and counter service restaurants are great options. Colectivo Coffee has been handmade in Milwaukee since 1993, and no one will look twice if you’re sitting along with a book or laptop at one of their thirteen local cafes enjoying a cup of coffee, soup, sandwiches or baked goods locally baked at their Troubadour Bakery in Bay View. During the summer, sidle up to a food truck for a delicious meal on the go to be enjoyed in any local park (tip: check Twitter to find out local truck schedules…they tend to travel in packs!). Or get a little braver: many popular local restaurants serve a full menu at the bar (and at some, that’s the only place to get a seat without a reservation!), so belly up for great farm-to-table eats at places like Braise and Wolf Peach, or retro-style counters at Comet Café and Miss Katie’s Diner.
 
Nightlife
If you’re the artsy type, use your solo status to your advantage to pick up some last-minute show tickets; pairs and groups are out of luck when it comes to snagging that one awesome seat that’s left! Milwaukee’s arts and theater scene boasts a Grammy-winning opera company, a world-class symphony, a nationally-acclaimed ballet company and an array of professional dance and theater companies performing at venues all across the metro area. Or if you’re more interested in trying some of Milwaukee’s local libations, a craft cocktail bar is the perfect place for a solo traveler. Like-minded patrons and knowledgeable bartenders make great company. Try Distil, Milwaukee’s House of Bourbon, for carefully crafted cocktails and an impressive spirits list. Or visit the tasting room of Great Lakes Distillery and Central Standard Craft Distillery, where you’ll sip on cocktails made with liquors distilled on-site.
 
What's your favorite solo hangout in Milwaukee?

 

 
A Beginner’s Guide to Cheese Curds

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Monday, February 22, 2016

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee
 
If you’ve never been to Milwaukee, you may not know what to expect when you see “cheese curds” on the menu at the local watering hole. If you don’t know, you don’t know what you’re missing – and that simply will not do. This quick crash course in the quintessential Milwaukee bar food will have you confidently ordering a basket of curds next time you find yourself in Milwaukee craving something cheesy, gooey, salty and oh-so delicious.
 
What is a cheese curd anyway?
A cheese curd is a small, fresh, springy piece of cheese. During the cheese-making process, the curds are separate from the whey – these bits of cheese can be pressed into a nice block of cheddar or eaten as-is. Cheese curds are mild and slightly salty, and you can tell they’re fresh when they squeak between your teeth!
 
They actually squeak?
Sure do!
 
Okay…so I’m supposed to eat them raw?
Not necessarily! A squeaky cheese curd is a thing of beauty, but we all know there’s one surefire way to make anything better: deep fry it! Battered and fried cheese curds are a staple of bars, festivals, fairs and pretty much everywhere else in Milwaukee. They’re popularly dipped in ranch, marinara, ketchup…the possibilities are endless!
 
Sounds great! Where can I get a basket of these?
Where can’t you get cheese curds in Milwaukee is probably a better question! (Pro tip: museums generally don't have any.) You’ll find curds on the appetizer menu at many local bars and restaurants, but here are a few recommendations for great places to try this local classic:
  • Clock Shadow Creamery: Get it straight from the source for the ultimate in squeaky cheese. If you want to take a tour, try to come on Wednesday or Friday morning…that’s when they make the curds!
  • Wisconsin Cheese Mart: Order some fried curds for here at the on-site Uber Tap Room, then pick up a few packages to take home with you.
  • Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub: These traditional fried curds (pictured above) are a great introduction to what drives locals crazy for curds.
  • Lakefront Brewery: Served in the brewery's German-style beer hall, these curds are dipped in a beer batter from Lakefront’s own Eastside Dark, a Bavarian dark lager.
  • Dream Dance Steak: Try this upscale take on the classic curd with “cheese curd fritters” topped with tomato jam.
  • The Iron Horse Hotel: Unique tempura-battered curds are on the menu at this boutique hotel's on-site restaurants, Smyth and Branded.
Help us out, locals -- who serves up your favorite cheese curds?
 

 

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